Vacation was different this year. The pandemic put an end to plans made long ago. We've stayed in seclusion for months now, except to work (which is essential) and trips to the grocery store; even those were spread out as far as we could make them. Isolation is hard, especially for affectionate people forced to keep their distance from those they love. I'm lucky enough to live where, even though we were once the epicenter of this modern day plague, through wise leadership we've slowed its movement to a crawl. We are still at a distance, but things are opening up slowly. That's okay with me; I was raised on it's better to be safe than sorry. I sit on the swing in my yard, for once free of the neighbors' fighting and the fireworks that have been booming since Memorial Day, and can hear the soft susurrus of the summer breeze floating by. There are birds flitting between trees as the black cat who roams the neighborhood pauses to see if I mind his crossing my path. I don't and he seems to know that. A week ago I traveled 180 miles to surprise my daughter for her birthday. It was one of the milestone ones, and she was bummed that all the big celebration plans had fallen prey to Corvid 19. She didn't have a clue she'd be spending it with her family. The surprise was joyous, in fact you could say it was monumental. Traveling by air or sea to places unknown wasn't required to make our little vacation a special one. The simple pleasure of being with loved ones, of an embrace you never wanted to end, of a kiss on the cheek, was all it took. The warm breeze whispers in my ear— Hold fast! It won't be long till you're together again. I whisper back— Amen. A neighbor turns his radio on. Another starts his lawnmower. I sit on my swing, embraced by the summer breeze and smile.
~Elise Skidmore ©2020